London doubles hedge fund assets in four years

London's share of global hedge fund assets increased from 10% to 21% between 2002 and 2006, making London one of the fastest growing hedge fund centres according to the 2007 edition of IFSL's Hedge Funds report. Assets managed by hedge fund managers based in London totalled around USD360bn in 2006, up 40% on the previous year, and a six-fold increase from 2002.

New York remained the leading global location for hedge fund managers in 2006 with 36% of global assets. Its share was down however, from 45% in 2002 as growth of the hedge fund industry in Europe and Asia outpaced growth in the US. This was largely a result of a rise in institutional portfolio allocation into hedge funds in these regions during this period.

London is by far the largest centre for European hedge fund managers with its 900 hedge funds accounting for four-fifths of European based hedge fund assets in 2006. If figures for fund of funds and US hedge funds with a trading desk in Europe are taken into account, London's share was more than 90%. Other locations for hedge fund managers in Europe include France, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Factors underpinning London's strong position include its local expertise, the proximity of clients and markets, a strong asset management industry and a favourable regulatory environment. London is also a leading centre for hedge fund services notably prime brokerage services offered by the leading London based investment banks. More than 90% of European prime brokerage activity is conducted through London.

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